Salaries/wages in Germany: minimum and average salaries in Germany by profession, salary tables for 2021, 2020
This page provides data on average and minimum salaries in Germany by year, both cumulative data and data individually for many professions. Special tables show the average salaries for the countries of Europe and the European Union. Also in our special catalogue you will find information on salaries by profession in Germany. In addition, an individual page on the website is dedicated to the information on taxes and charges from salaries in Germany (gross / net).
§ Minimum salary rate in Germany as of 2021, 2020
Since 2015, the law on the minimum wage/salary rate (Mindestlohngesetz dated August 11, 2014 (Federal Law Gazette/BGBl. I S. 1348)) has been in force throughout Germany. The initial minimum rate was 8.50 euros per 1 hour of work.
Thus, every employee in Germany, with some exceptions, is entitled to a statutory minimum salary. This law also regulates the deadline for the payment of salaries, namely: the salary shall be paid to the employee at the agreed time, but not later than the last working banking day in the month following the month, in which the work was performed.
The minimum salary rate in Germany as of 2021 is 9.60 euros gross per 1 hour of work.
Minimum salary rate in Germany
What is the minimum wage (basic salary) in Germany? The minimum salary in Germany as of 2021 is 9.60 euros gross per 1 hour of work. In some industries, the law establishes higher minimum wage, exceeding the specified minimum salary rate by 1 - 2 euros. The highest minimum salary rate is set in construction for skilled workers and exceeds the total subsistence minimum wage by more than 50%. The table below offers the calculation of the minimum wage for 1 day, week and month, based on the total hourly minimum wage rate.
Table 1: Minimum wage in Germany as of 2021
|Time period||In euros||In USD *||In GBP *|
|1 day (8 hours)||76.80||89.84||65.60|
|1 week (40 hours)||384.00||449.20||328.01|
|1 month (160 hours)||1'536.00||1'796.81||1'312.05|
Minimum wage rate change in Germany
The minimum wage in Germany is increased annually. Table 2 below shows the change in the minimum wage by year.
Table 2: Change in the minimum wage rate in Germany by year
|Year||Hourly rate||Monthly payment, 160 hours|
|01.01.2015||8.50 €||1360.00 €|
|01.01.2017||8.84 €||1414.40 €|
|01.01.2019||9.19 €||1470.40 €|
|01.01.2020||9.35 €||1496.00 €|
|01.01.2021||9.50 €||1520.00 €|
|01.07.2021||9.60 €||1536.00 €|
|01.01.2022||9.82 €||1571.20 €|
|01.07.2022||10.45 €||1672.00 €|
Interesting facts about the minimum salary rate in Germany
According to the Federal Office of Statistics, in Germany, before the introduction of the law on the minimum salary rate, there used to be about 4 million jobs paid less than the initial minimum rate of 8.50 euros per 1 hour of work. In East Germany, this made 11% of all jobs. After the introduction of the law on the minimum wage, the number of minimum wage workers has reached 1.9 million jobs. Students and trainees earn less than the minimum wage. More women than men work at the minimum salary.
For information on the minimum pension in Germany, see the next page: Minimum, social pension in Germany
You can find information about unemployment benefits in Germany on our website: Unemployment benefits in Germany
§ Average salary in Germany, 2021, 2020
The average salary rate in Germany is not established by law; it varies depending on a range of factors, which include: the land(federated state) or region of Germany, level of education, size of enterprise, industry, gender, and some other factors, which are discussed below on this page.
The average gross salary in Germany as of 2020, amounted to 3'975.00 euros for 1 month of work.
Average salary rate in Germany
The average gross salary in Germany, including all allowances, additional bonuses and payments, prior to withholding taxes and duties, as of 2020, amounted to 3'975.00 euros for 1 month of work.
Detailed information about the average salary in Germany a month and a year, net and gross, can be found on an individual page of our website.
§ Wages increase index in Germany, change in real and nominal salaries
Table 3 below, as well as the following charts, shows the change in German wages rates by year. Two indices are presented as indicators of changes in the amount of wages: the Real Wage Index (Ger.: Reallohnindex) and the Nominal Wage Index (Ger.: Nominallohnindex). Both indices represent the percentage change in wages/salaries in relation to the year taken as a basis of 100%.
Nominallohnindex - is a % change in salaries compared to the year taken as the base year.
Reallohnindex - is the Nominallohnindex adjusted for the consumer price change index, i.e. it reflects a real increase in salaries.
Table 3: Change in monthly gross salaries in Germany by year
|Calendar year||Salary, |
Chart 1. Salary change indices by year
Talk about raising wages at an enterprise in Germany
In Germany, it is considered normal to talk with the boss and immediate supervisor about a salary increase. CEOs are ready for such conversations and expect them. When talking with the boss about a salary increase, as advised in the magazine Spiegel, you need to follow the rules set out below:
- Do not be shy to talk to the boss about a salary increase;
- You need to have an idea of the desired salary increment;
- The desired amount of money has to be justified by your qualifications and knowledge;
- Talking about raising salaries is advised once in a year and a half;
- The reasons for raising the salary should be chosen wisely, the main one being: your contribution to the activities of the company.
§ Salaries of men and women, comparison of salaries by year
In Germany, the real wage rate is influenced by various factors, including the difference between the real salaries of men and women. As can be seen from Table 4 below, men in Germany earn more than women. The following table presents data on changes in wages (gross) by year in Germany with full employment and all supplementary/fringe benefits, with the average salary of men and women considered individually.
Table 4: Comparison of average salaries of men and women in Germany
|Calendar year||Salary of men, |
euros per month
|Salary of women, |
euros per month
As can be seen from Table 4 above, in 2020, women on average earned less than 568.00 euros per month, which makes a difference of 13.7%. Over the past few years, the wage gap between men and women has been gradually decreasing.
For information on the average pension in Germany, see the following page: Average pension in Germany
§ Factors affecting the level of salary in Germany
The level of wages by region, by land of Germany
According to the Federal Office of Statistics as of 2019, the level of salaries in Germany depends on the region of Germany and can vary by up to 80%. Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Bremen, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland have the highest salaries, they are followed by Lower Saxony, Hamburg, Rhineland-Palatinate, then by Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony, Thuringia and finally at the bottom of the list there are Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt.
Thus, the highest salaries are received in the southern region of Germany, while the lowest - in the regions of the former East Germany, formerly the GDR.
Salary amount depending on the size of the enterprise
At larger enterprises, salaries are significantly higher than those at small firms in the same professions. For example, the salary of doctors in an enterprise with more than 1,000 employees is by 30% different from the salaries of doctors in an enterprise with less than 500 employees. As to the salary of engineers under the similar conditions, it can vary by up to 10%.
Salary depending on the level of education (educational background)
The level of education also impacts the rate of salary, the higher the education, the higher the salary.
Salaries by industry
Salaries also depend on the industry, in which the person works. The following list shows the industries, starting with those, in which salaries are the highest.
- Pharmaceutical industry
- Automotive industry
- Chemical industry
- Medical equipment
- Aerospace and air transportation
- Health and social services
- Agencies and advertising
- Recreation and tourism
- Handicraft production
- Hotels and gastronomy
§ Salaries by profession - a catalogue of professions and average salaries in Germany
What follows is a directory of salaries information by occupation in Germany. To go to information about salaries by profession, click on the following links.
- salary of accountants
- salary of airmen
- salary of architects
- salary of babysitters
- salary of brokers, realtors, intermediaries
- salary of builders
- salary of coal miners, mineworkers
- salary of cooks, kitcheners
- salary of doctors, nurses, surgeons, dentists
- salary of drivers, truckers, couriers
- salary of economists, financiers, bankers, insurers
- salary of electricians
- salary of engineers, technologists, engineers
- salary of florists, gardeners, horticulturists, flower gardeners
- salary of hairdressers, cosmeticians
- salary of housewives, governesses
- salary of janitors, cleaners
- salary of librarians, archivists, museum workers
- salary of loaders
- salary of locksmiths
- salary of managers, executives, managers, directors
- salary of massage therapists
- salary of musicians, painters, artists, cultural figures
- salary of nurses, social workers, hospital attendants, of the care personnel
- salary of photographers
- salary of police officers, firemens, security guards, judges
- salary of postmen
- salary of programmers, IT-specialists
- salary of seamstresses, tailors, shoemakers, leather workers
- salary of salespeople/ sales personnel, cashiers
- salary of signalmen, radio operators, telephone operators
- salary of teachers , teachers, educators, coaches, tutors
- salary of translators, interpreters and translators
- salary of turners, Millers, grinders
- salary of watchmakers, horologists
- salary of welders
- salary of workers, laborers
§ Links to useful websites
- Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, Mindestlohn
- Gesetz zur Regelung eines allgemeinen Mindestlohns
- Statistisches Bundesamt (Destatis)
- Gehaltsübersicht, Stepstone
* The EUR exchange rate in the tables is taken as of 27 september 2021 and amounts to 1.17 USD or 0.85 GBP at the European Central Bank exchange rate. The EUR, USD and GBR exchange rates in Germany